Our annual community awards night at the Midland Hotel is tonight (Friday). Who will win?
The Sunshine Awards, sponsored by Wright and Lord, will be presented at the Sunshine Ball at the iconic Morecambe hotel on the seafront, with the event beginning at 7pm.
More than 100 guests dressed in their best are expected at the yearly event to honour the great and the good of Morecambe.
The Sunshine Awards were created by The Visitor in 2010 to recognise people who go that extra mile for the town.
Previous Sunshine Award winners have included TT motorbike legend John McGuinness, TV personality Paul Hayes and Eric Morecambe himself.
Awards will be handed out in seven categories.
Four of these - Unsung Hero, Community Group, Sport and Entertainment - have been chosen by readers voting on line over the past month.
Three other award winners - Ambassador, Business and Young Person - were chosen by The Visitor editorial team.
The Ambassador award, sponsored by Wright and Lord, is the main honour of the night. It is given each year to an individual or group whose work has raised the profile of the town nationally or internationally.
This year’s recipients are Morecambe Football Club.
The Young Person award, sponsored by Ascentis, will be collected by 16-year-old Heysham High School pupil Georgia Hannam, British Champion biathlete.
Nominees in the other awards are:
UNSUNG HERO sponsored by Specsavers
Anna Krelle, charity volunteer
Barbara Mortensen, school lollipop lady
John and Dorothy McKenzie, chemists and festival organisers
(NOTE - John and Dorothy have asked to be withdrawn from the competition)
COMMUNITY GROUP sponsored by Costain
West End Impact, Christian charity
Volunteers for the talking newspaper service at Galloway’s Society for the Blind
Welcome Cafe in the Arndale Centre, charity fund raisers
BUSINESS sponsored by the Arndale Centre
Gerry’s Fishing Tackle
ENTERTAINMENT sponsored by Opus North
Wayne Hemingway, organiser of Morecambe vintage festival
David and Carla Brayshaw, organisers of Morecambe Carnival
Kieran Engelke, wrestling promoter and referee
SPORT sponsored by The Visitor
Dave Chisnall, world ranked darts player
Morecambe Ladies Football Club
Frank Wilkinson, Morecambe Cricket Club coach and former player
The ball will this year raise money for the ‘Morecambe Gets Wise’ appeal.
A campaign is being run to raise £70,000 for a new Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise attraction in the town.
This will take the form of a giant bronze piece of artwork of the comedy duo sculpted by Graham Ibbeson, the man who created the Eric Morecambe Statue. The relief will be housed in a new Sunshine Garden of Fame opposite the Winter Gardens and is due to open in 2016.
An auction and raffle will be held at the Ball to raise funds for the campaign.
Items available on the auction are:
The first spot in the Sunshine Garden of Fame
An Eric Morecambe miniature maquette created by Graham Ibbeson
A signed limited edition piece of artwork by celebrity artist Paul Trevillion and book
A match and hospitality package for four at Morecambe Football Club
A family dinghy experience on Morecambe Bay
A £500 voucher from Morecambe Press for print and design services
There will also be a three-course dinner and music from Stuart Michaels, and St John’s Hospice choir.
Ashleigh Wood is unable to appear as previously advertised.
Tickets are sold out for the event.
Winners will be announced on this website following the ball.
PREVIOUS SUNSHINE AWARD WINNERS
Personality - Ronné Coyles
Community - Tony Smart MBE
Sports - Ryan Done
Entertainments - Simon Armstrong
Business - Morecambe Bay Wines
Ambassador - Paul Hayes
Community - Raj Patel
Sports - Alan Gale
Green - Furniture Matters
Business - Morecambe FC
Entertainment - Kathryn MacDonald
Ambassador - The Heartbreaks
Unsung Hero - Don Holroyd
Community Group - Morecambe Brass Band Association
Sports - John McGuinness
Business - James Baxter & Son
Entertainment - Joyce Warrington MBE
Ambassador - Cedric Robinson MBE
Unsung Hero - Emma Hamilton
Community Group - Homestart Lancaster and Morecambe
Sports - Scott Thornton
Entertainment - Ivan Harrison
Business - Pedder Street News
Ambassador - Eric Morecambe
Unsung Hero - Annette Smith
Community Group - Morecambe Bay Foodbank
Sports - Ken Richardson
Entertainment - Nice ‘n’ Sleazy festival
Business - Battersby Silver Grey
Culture- Howard Rogerson